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Katusha 03-24-2009 07:56 PM

LYS Class Etiquette
I will be taking a class at my LYS next month and I was wondering if itís frowned upon to come with your own yarn? We will be knitting a sweater and I feel itís too expensive to spend $7-9 / ball for the yardage involved. I am currently taking a knitting in the round class where we are making a baby hat and as a novice knitter I came unprepared and ended up spending $27 on yarn. It adds up when you factor in the cost of the class as well. I am hoping I wonít get nasty looks from the teacher/owner when I come in with my KP yarn!

Ingrid 03-24-2009 08:18 PM

Hmm. That's a bit tricky. Some shops make their money on the classes alone and don't care; some give you a free class if you buy the yarn or a discount if you buy the yarn there.

I'd suggest calling to see if it's ok.

dreamsherl 03-24-2009 09:25 PM

I would check with the yarn shop. The shops that I go to will help you if you are buying their yarn.

laikabear 03-25-2009 06:04 AM

When I took a sweater class at my LYS, it was $50 which they applied toward the purchase of yarn. I think you could bring your own, but then would just be paying for the class. I thought it would be a better deal to take the $50 credit. I must have been insane because the yarn we were working with was so expensive. I spent about $100 to $150 in addition to the credit. I don't remember the exact amount, I think I blocked it out. :teehee: You are smart to think of that ahead of time.

I would call the store and ask. They should tell you if they care or not. Sometimes if you make a "faux pas" like that you could be given the cold shoulder, yet no one would say anything outright. I have seen that happen (in a store I don't frequent) when someone wanted a shop owner to wind a ball of yarn purchased online. I was so uncomfortable watching the conversation! Anyway, you would not want that to be you during class if you brought yarn and they were miffed about it.

cacunn 03-25-2009 08:56 AM

Talk to the LYS, even if they want you to buy the yarn there they should understand that every one has different taste and a different budget. They should be able to help you and direct you to suitable yarn that will not require you not to eat for a month.

If they are not helpful and understanding I would try and find another LYS.

imrachel 03-25-2009 10:12 AM

Here's what I've realized it's important to remember about LYSs. For the most part, they're owned by people who love to knit, maybe have taught knitting prior to opening their shop, and enjoy owning their own small business. Sometimes it's just one owner, sometimes it's a couple of people who went in on it together. They may or may not have some retail or business experience, but often not.

Which is to say that these are usually folks who never spent time in customer service classes required by a large corporation. So some of them are wonderful, some are not. Some will think, "I'm at least getting the money for another body in the class and if they're happy they'll tell their friends" and some will think, "If this chick isn't buying the yarn as well, she can go take a hike." Some will state policies clearly ("I'm sorry, but every use of the swift takes a little off of its life, you can imagine how many people buy yarn on-line these days and ask for this favor, so we don't wind yarn that wasn't purchased here.") and some don't (the awkward conversation laikabear witnessed).

What I would NEVER do, is just walk in with the knitpicks yarn and keep your fingers crossed. I would call her in advance and say that the price of the yarn is fairly steep for your budget, you'd love to take the class, but want to bring your own yarn, what does she think? I might also offer to lie about it to the other class members-- tell her that if she doesn't want you to tell other people where you got it, that you'll take off the labels and say that someone gave it to you and they said they forgot where they got it from.:teehee:

And if she says, sorry, you have to use our yarn, I would very politely and pleasantly say, "I'm so sorry, I won't be able to take any of your wonderful classes here, I'm so disappointed." She make re-think it, then!

ready2knit 03-25-2009 10:35 AM

I agree with those who stated above that you should ask PRIOR to taking the class if you need to purchase materials there. I worked in a LYS and most are small business owners who are trying to make a living just like everyone else. The amount of help provided in most classes far outweighs the cost being charged to students. So in the end, the profit is made by the purchase of materials.
Check out websites for LYS around the country and you'll see the norm is that materials are to be purchased at the store.
The above being stated, I understand that knitting can be a very expensive hobby. Perhaps you should consider taking classes at your local craft store (Micheals, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby) or through Community Education in your area. You'll most likely be paying much less than at the LYS and you'll have the option to either bring in your own yarn or purchase more moderate priced yarns.

Hope none of this comes off too strong, but having worked in a LYS I have an understanding for skyrocketing rents, minimum yarn orders, and trying to provid quality customer service piled on top of trying to make a living.

Katusha 03-25-2009 11:11 AM

Thank you everyone for your helpful replies. Although I own a retail store myself (albeit online only), I can't believe I never considered this issue before buying the kp yarn. I was just thinking that the class is completely separate from the retail part of the store. I was just looking for instruction. I am paying $95 for 4 classes, each one 2hrs long.

I am currently taking another class at the same LYS and that one was $45 for 2 classes (each 2hrs) and when I got there for the first class I ended up spending $65 on a pair of Addis, a set of dpns, and 3 skeins of yarn - all for a baby hat. I know that the needles are an investment and will be used again, but I was floored at having to spend $28 on yarn, especially when it's a little baby hat and each color wasn't used that much. I guess I will just have to make a few more hats in the same color scheme to use it all up!

I will ask about their policy when I go for part II of the hat class this weekend. I guess I could always return the kp yarn..

Craw 03-25-2009 12:05 PM

I'm not surprised that the LYS would require you to purchase their yarn to use in their class but I am surprised that it would cost so much to do an itty bitty baby hat. Seems like they purposely chose a more expensive yarn to boost profits. Can't say that I blame them but hey, times are rough all around and the message they're sending is if you can't afford the expensive yarn then you're too poor to learn how to knit. I was thinking of taking classes at my LYS but now I'll consider Joann's instead. I don't want to get stuck buying supplies I don't want or can't afford, I just wanna learn to knit! :knitting:

Debbie 03-25-2009 12:25 PM

In the shops I spend my time and money in, if you have to purchase your supplies for the class from them, they tell you in the class description, otherwise, the are just glad you have come to learn and enjoy. The one shop that does not "make" you buy their yarn but treats you awful ... I don't go there... because they aren't very nice to anyone!

If I had an LYS, or any business for that matter ... I would want people to come in no matter what ... and who can leave a LYS without purchasing something... or ... thinking about something so much that they go back and get it :)

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